It's hard to imagine that when I last wrote about Max, I was discussing snow!!! Summer has been the best thing ever in Max land. Water, water everywhere! The boss baby turned 18 months on July 17th, so he is officially over halfway to 2!
Max at 18 months is a child who just loves life. That's the only way to describe it. There are so many things and people that he loves and if he sees anything he loves, his arms start flapping and the excitement begins following by running (often on his tip toes) towards what he loves. Let's see if I can list all of the things Max loves: slides, swings, sprinklers, water (lakes, oceans etc), ice cream, cookies, books, bees, dogs, lights, parks, trucks especially fire trucks, other kids, merry go rounds, adventures… I'm probably forgetting something here!
Max loves to point to things so he can be often found walking around just pointing to everything he likes and wants. However, he is starting to say more and more words every day. For awhile now he's been saying Mama, Dada (or Daddy), Nonna, Pops, Nana, doggie, bees, bye bye and for awhile he was saying light but I haven't heard that word lately. His recent words include dinnah (dinner), book, milk, more, again, pool, dunk (as in slam dunk haha) door, and no. I was hoping we could avoid the word no for awhile, but he has invented a sign language he uses for no (kind of similar to all done) and he uses that while also saying no, so he definitely gets what it means. If you ask him to say something he will always say "bye bye" and look at you with a devilish smile that clearly says "you can't make me." But, he is also very agreeable. If you ask him if he wants to do something, like "do you want to go to the park?" "do you want to brush your teeth?" he will almost always say "Yaya!"
I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but Max absolutely loves books. He picks up several books a day and demands someone read them to him. If he is upset about something or wants to do something he shouldn't, I can often distract him with a book. He used to be very picky about his books and would only want to read 1 or 2 books for weeks at a time. Now he is still opinionated about his books, but he likes a very wide variety of books, many that involve trucks and fire engines. We have been taking Max to the library at the Cape this summer and he loves to play with all the toys. But, he also loves looking at the books and took out 3 books of his own for the first time! One was about fire engines, one about sheep and one was a word book. Speaking of word books, he loves them too. He turns to a page and we say, "where is the giraffe?" and he points to it.
He was so excited to see a gorilla at the zoo because one of his favorite books is "Goodnight Gorilla." Luckily, this one did not get out of his cage!
Of course, even the most adorable and amazing kids (not biased at all) cannot be perfect all the time. Max has his share of toddler tantrums which are infinitely worse if he is tired or bored. I had a rookie mom move at the aforementioned library visit where I let him play and read for over an hour and THEN decided to fill out the forms to get myself a library book. Max started banging on a mirror thing right near the desk and when I pulled him away he completely flipped out. First major public tantrum in a quiet library? Well, of course. Luckily this is where being a kindergarten teacher is helpful because while it was a little bit stressful trying to actually remember my own address filling out the forms, I was mostly just like, toddlers will be toddlers. Tantrums at home are usually about not being allowed to do something he wants to do, like go out a door or get his "doggie" when it's not bedtime etc. The other day he had his first official "time out" because he would not stop throwing his trucks off my mom's nice wooden table onto her nice wood floor. He definitely does not get the concept of a "time out" yet so I basically just took him to another part of the room and made him sit on his lap for 1 minute. It also didn't work because he went right back to truck throwing after, so now the trucks are taking LONG time out in the closet. At this stage, distraction/redirection seems to be my best discipline method so that's usually the way I go whenever possible.
Another thing that really grinds my gears is toddler eating. Don't get me wrong, I love eating but I wish both I and my child did not HAVE to eat, we just could if we wanted to. So much time is wasted thinking of meal ideas, buying food, cooking said food, cleaning up after eating, blah blah. Feeding a picky toddler is a new level of annoying. One day he likes something, the next day he doesn't, each day he seems to like less and less. He doesn't like a single fruit or veggie unless it's in pureed form and randomly will hate other random things. When he doesn't want it he will basically scream GET THIS OFF MY PLATE without saying those words and instead whines with the food held out in front of him like it's very presence on his tray make actually kill him. Even when he is happy with what he is eating, there is still a TON of whining at meal times. The only foods he will consistently eat are chips, cookies, yogurt and purees. He also likes blueberry bars from Trader Joe's (kind of like fruit), waffles with peanut butter, bagels with cream cheese, cheese and crackers, inner peas, bread, and rice. Occasionally he almost seems like a good eater and will eat our turkey pasta or a thai chili dish that Eric makes. I suppose I can't really complain but I'm telling you, 3 meals a day + 2 snacks a day of whining and flailing around really make me wish eating was not necessary haha.
It's so clear to me every day just how much I am not a baby mom. Of course I LOVED Max as a baby, but I enjoy this time so much more. All of that "oh, just wait until he is walking, then it will get hard!" comments people love to make have not yet proven to be true for me. I love him walking around and communicating and enjoying all of our crazy adventures. I love the laughing as he runs through the sprinkler, the building a tower from blocks, the stepping on sand castles, the conversations about what different animals say, the actual playing with other kids. Yup, I'm saying it again, this is my new favorite age. I suppose at some point it will not be my favorite age, the question is, will that be during the terrible twos or the teenager years? Ha ha.
I was planning to get into motherhood at 18 month in this post, but I think this is long enough. Maybe that will be it's own post :) Thanks for reading!